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The Sister Study


Does air pollution increase breast cancer risk?

Air pollution has been linked to a number of diseases, including cardiovascular disease and death, but less is known about air pollutionís role in breast cancer. We evaluated whether air pollution concentrations at the residential level were associated with breast cancer risk. Because the make-up of air pollution varies, we also considered geography and looked at patterns of air pollution composition. We found that among women in the western US and with certain patterns of particulate matter composition, greater exposure to air pollution was associated with higher risk of breast cancer. This research helps to emphasize the importance of continuing to reduce air pollution levels nationwide.


photo of factories emitting pollution into the air

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